Reasons why the steering wheel and brake locked.

Steering wheel and brake locked are an essential security feature for vehicles designed to prevent theft and unauthorized use of cars.

By immobilizing the vehicle when it’s not in use this widely used mechanism tends to enhance safety. Firstly, car owners activate a pin that locks the steering wheel and brake in place.

They do so by engaging the ignition system. Hence ensuring that the vehicle remains stationary until its unlocked by an authorized person.

The mechanics behind this system engage a combination of mechanical and electronic components working together seamlessly.

Car owners seeking to safeguard their vehicles from potential theft or misuse need an understanding of how the steering wheel and brake lock function.

This article will equip readers with valuable knowledge about enhancing their vehicle’s security.

Unlocking a locked brake pedal.

Legs pressing down the car's pedals

A locked brake pedal in automatic cars is a hindrance to gear changes which immobilizes the vehicle. Hence ensuring that no one can move the vehicle from that location.

1). Obstructions or debris around the brake pedal.

Objects or debris in the area surrounding the brake pedal may be causing it to lock. These are the items that could potentially interfere with the smooth operation of the pedal.

2). Apply steady pressure.

Application of slight pressure on the brake pedal will help to release any potential lock-up. Do this once you have ensured there are no visible obstructions.

Gently push down on the brake pedal and hold it in place for a few seconds. This action can help release any potential lock-up by allowing hydraulic pressure to equalize within the braking system.

3). Consult a mechanic.

It is advisable to seek professional assistance from a qualified mechanic if your efforts to unlock the brake pedal proves unsuccessful.

A trained technician will have the expertise and tools necessary to diagnose and address any underlying issues within your braking system.

Especially if you notice that the problem persists or worsens over time, seek a professional who specializes in the brake system.

4). Check for parking brake engagement.

In the case where the engine is running, the gear is engaged but the wheels just won’t move, check whether the parking brake is engaged.

Make sure that the parking brake is fully disengaged because if it’s not, it will prevent the brake pedal from movement. Therefore, release the parking brake and then attempt to press the brake pedal again.

5). Brake fluid level.

Inspect the brake fluid reservoir to ensure that the reservoir cap, sealant and the container are in a good condition. If they’re in a good condition they will prevent any leakage from taking place.

Secondly, inspect the brake fluid and ensure that it is at the proper level that’s recommended given the measurement on the reservoir.

Low brake fluid leads to a loss of hydraulic pressure and results in a locked brake pedal. If the fluid level is lower than the recommended level, add some more.

Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to ensure that you’re following the right instructions.

6). Bleed the brake system.

When air enters the brake system, it causes a spongy or locked brake pedal. Therefore, bleeding the brake system helps to remove air and restores proper brake functions.

The process of bleeding brakes will require assistance from another person, a professional and/or a brake bleeder kit.

Steering wheel locked.

Vehicle steering wheel column

In this section we are going to have a look at the different points to note about the locked steering wheel.

There are several things that can lead to a locked steering wheel. These present the different situations in which the steering is most likely to lock up and which need investigation.

A faulty steering pump and power steering fluid leakage are some of the causes of a locked steering. In addition to human error and others that are going to be discussed bellow.

1). Steering wheel lock while driving.

This is a dangerous situation because it deprives the driver from having control over the vehicle. Steering wheel problems cause difficulty to steer the vehicle in the desired direction.

Hence limiting maneuverability which can cause a challenge when navigating curves, turns, or obstacles on the road.

When this happens there is the temptation to start panicking. However, it is crucial that you remain calm and take immediate action to ensure your safety.

Turn on the hazard lights to signal other vehicles of your situation. Afterwards, reduce the speed of your vehicle gradually while keeping a firm grip on the steering wheel.

2). Can’t start car due to steering wheel lock.

Another situation when the car steering wheel locks is when you want to start the engine. In this situation the vehicle starting system becomes useless.

Assuming that your end goal is to start the vehicle, start by whether there are underlying issues with the ignition system. Additionally, check whether there is something wrong with the car key before proceeding.

Lastly, this is a precaution to take before the turning off the engine. Check the position of the steering wheel and ensure that it is correct.

In this case we mean that the wheels are not extremely turned towards one direction. Oftentimes this is what causes the steering wheel to lock after you turn off the engine.

Turn the key while attempting to rotate the steering wheel towards the opposing direction. The steering wheel will end up loosening up.

3). Steering wheel lock and key won’t turn.

In order to determine the cause of the steering wheel lock key failure you should start by inspecting the key.

Look for any signs of damage, dirt, or wear which could be causing the key to get stuck in the ignition.

Presence of bends or cracks are an indication that the key is damaged. Therefore, it will not be able to turn in the ignition.

Dirt tends to enter the key hole over time and this hinders movement of the lock. After ensuring that the key is in a good condition, clean the keyhole and try again.

Get a new key if you notice that the serrations are worn out due to excessive wear. Furthermore, use graphite powder as a lubricant to reduce friction and allow the key’s movement.

4). Steering wheel locked up while parked.

There are several possible reasons for a locked steering wheel while the vehicle is parked. Most of these reasons can be avoided for example:

  • Exerting excessive pressure on the steering wheel by parking on uneven surfaces.
  • Turning the wheels extremely when parking.

You can unlock the steering wheel in both cases attempting its gentle movement while starting the car engine. However, seek professional assistance if you are unable to unlock it independently.


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